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game recap

Canadiens get win, spoil P.K. Subban's return

Paul Byron scores on breakaway with 8.3 seconds left to defeat Predators

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Paul Byron scored on a breakaway with 8.3 seconds remaining to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 win against P.K. Subban and the Nashville Predators at Bell Centre on Thursday.

Subban had an assist in his first game against the Canadiens since he was traded to the Predators for defenseman Shea Weber on June 29.

"I wasn't really sure how I was going to feel," Subban said. "I played a lot of hockey games in this building, a lot of great things happened in this building and in this city while I was here and all those memories come back. Whether it's stuff to do with the hospital or kids or family, teammates, hockey games, emotional games. I felt that I shared that with all the fans and the community here, and I guess that's how it all came out." 

Byron, who hadn't scored in his previous 13 games, skated down the ice after he forced Roman Josi to turn over the puck at the Montreal blue line. Pekka Rinne appeared to make the save on Byron's shot but the puck made it into the net.

 

WATCH: All Predators vs. Canadiens highlights

 

"I don't think I beat him with a clean shot," Byron said. "I have no idea where it rolled or how it went in, but I was going into the boards so fast I didn't really even see where the puck went."

Subban, who was injured and did not play in Nashville's 2-1 overtime loss to Montreal at Bridgestone Arena on Jan. 3, set up Ryan Ellis' one-timer past Price from the top of the left faceoff circle at 18:25 of the first period to give the Predators a 1-0 lead.

Brendan Gallagher drew Montreal even at 1-1 with his seventh goal at 10:55 of the third period.

Carey Price made 24 saves for the Canadiens (36-21-8), who extended their winning streak to four games with their first regulation win since Jan. 31.

"There's nothing scientific about it," Price said. "The only thing you have to do is keep pounding away at it and hopefully it goes your way."

Video: NSH@MTL: Subban receives tribute in Montreal return

Rinne made 24 saves for the Predators (32-23-9), who ended a season-high four-game winning streak.

"We definitely wanted to win it for P.K. and they're huge points for us too," Josi said. "We're in a playoff race."

Predators center Filip Forsberg did not have a point, ending a five-game goal streak and six-game point streak. Forsberg, who was named the NHL's First Star of the week Monday, had 13 points (10 goals, four assists) during his point streak.

Ellis left the game in the second period because of an apparent leg injury. He had to be helped off the ice and did not return.

 

Goal of the game

Gallagher's goal was his first in the past 11 games, including eight since returning from a broken left hand.

"Hopefully that gives them confidence," Weber said about getting goals from Gallagher and Byron. "They're just not getting the results. They've been getting some chances but things haven't been going for them. Hopefully that can get them going a little.

Video: NSH@MTL: Gallagher slips home wraparound to tie game

 

Save of the game

Price made a sprawling save on Craig Smith's one-timer from the slot at 16:46 of the second period.

Video: NSH@MTL: Price kicks out pad to deny Smith in front

 

Highlight of the game

Byron outraced defenseman Matt Irwin to retrieve the puck in the Predators' zone and scored the game-winner.

"I think it hit my stick and kind of bounced up and put the puck in a footrace position and I just beat him to it," Byron said. "I didn't see the puck roll in but I got a good bounce on it."

Video: NSH@MTL: Byron steals puck, buries late go-ahead goal

 

Unsung performance of the game

Canadiens forward Torrey Mitchell won 7-of-8 faceoffs.

 

They said it

"I think that's the first time I've been booed at the Bell Centre. I kind of enjoyed that." -- Predators defenseman P.K. Subban on Canadiens fans reaction in the third period

 

"I think we did some really good things lately and sometimes the puck just doesn't bounce your way and you just try to not stay frustrated, try not to deviate too much from your game. But it definitely gives you an extra little bit of confidence when they go your way and hopefully we start getting that secondary scoring because you're not going to win too many games relying on one line and it was huge for us to get two goals from someone other than that first line tonight." -- Canadiens forward Paul Byron

 

Need to know

Predators coach Peter Laviolette had no update on Ellis after the game. ... Forward Dwight King had five hits and one blocked shot in 10:37 in his Canadiens debut after he was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.

 

What's next

Predators: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, CSN-CH, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: At the New York Rangers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NHLN, MSG, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Byron scores in final seconds, spoils Subban's return

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